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Russian missiles in Abkhazia: threat to peace

By Messenger Staff
Monday, August 16
After the controversial visit of Russian president Medvedev to its occupied territory of Abkhazia in Georgia, Moscow officially admitted the deployment of S–300 anti-aircraft missile devices on Abkhazia's territory. Although this fact was apparently already known by the Americans and probably high level Georgian officials, the news was assessed by Tbilisi as yet one more violation of the existing international agreements and a threat not only for Georgia. However Georgian analysts doubt that Russia's challenge to the world will be followed by any significant reaction from the west.

The topic of the S-300 has recently become quite real in particular in the South Caucasus. When the news spread that Azerbaijan is going to purchase Russian S–300 missiles, Armenia became very concerned. Immediately the term of the Russian military base in Gyumri was extended and it was reported that Moscow was going to deploy modern S–400 missiles on the Gyumri base. In addition news appeared that Moscow is also going to deploy S-300s in Tskhinvali region.

Alexander Zelin, Commander-in-chief of Russian military aviation threatened that his country was ready to shoot down any flying object over the breakaway territories. To start with, this news was not confirmed by Abkhazian officials as they were confused themselves. This is further evidence that the Russians do not respect or care about the Abkhazian people; they do what they want in the occupied territories.

Tbilisi’s opinion is that the deployment of these devices on Abkhazian territory is just one more example of the Russian side violating the Saarkozy-Medevedev August 2008 agreement. The threat is not only directed against Georgia, but against the whole region and according to Georgian analysts NATO should be seriously concerned about it. However Georgian analysts are deeply concerned as they are almost unanimous in their certainty that the west will, as usual, swallow this pill.

Meanwhile the Russians are not concealing the regional importance of these missiles. Russian analyst, Anatoly Tsigankov stated that apart from protecting Abkhazia and the south Ossetian puppet regimes and covering part of Turkish territory, the three hundred missiles could be used to protect Armenia should there be clashes with Azerbaijan.

Georgian analysts think that the deployment of these devices on Abkhazian territory is one more demonstration of the Kremlin flexing its muscles, and this is done not to threaten Georgia only but rather to show the west its might.

Georgian minister for reintegration Temur Iakobashvili said that Russia has not observed any independence in the occupied regions and it needs these territories to concentrate its military power.

Thus, as Moscow continues to militarise Georgia’s occupied territories, it demonstrates to the west that it is not worried by its concern; it shows that it does not intend to fulfill any previously made peaceful commitment and Moscow demands the world to stop selling arms to Georgia. Is this not a full enough bucket of evidences that Russia is an aggressor? Let us consider the answer together.